Saturday, May 29, 2010
When I was 23, my boyfriend and I planned a climbing trip to Ecuador for the winter. We were going to put our stuff into storage, get on a plane, and scale volcanoes for three months. We had plane tickets and everything. Expensive ones.
Then, in early December, I got a phone call from someone at Grand Canyon National Park asking me to go out and be a ranger there starting in less than a month. For some reason, I accepted the offer even though I had those other big plans. And my boyfriend said he would go with me.
I only spent one season working at the Canyon because I didn't like working for the park service, but I fell deeply in love with the landscape there, and it became a touchstone for me. I have gone back countless times, I have led backpacking trips through the canyon, and I even rafted the canyon for my honeymoon.
My season at the canyon also catalyzed my search for my biological parents in an interesting way that I am working to recount in a book about wilderness and adoption search and reunion. It has become immensely important to my identity and well-being.